AN INTERVIEW WITH WENDY ON BODY IMAGE
Letters to God: Dear God,
These past weeks have been filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes I am strengthened, other times I can’t explain how I feel. Every now and then, I just want to shut myself out of the world, I feel numb, without emotions. I silently wished you did not bring me to this world. You know, maybe not experiencing the world would have been better for both of us. Other times, I wish I were dead as it will be a sign of relief from the rush of emotions I feel on a daily.
Some experiences I see, read and face sometimes makes me wonder if you are really watching and consciously not doing anything.
It is often said that your judgment has not come upon the wicked because you are waiting for them to repent. But right now it doesn’t make sense as these government people deserve death. In the same vein, I am not that righteous so what right do I have. At the same time, I think there should be a measurement for sin because these people sins are very great.
That night, 20/10/2020, I wished you had activated the God of Elijah and sent fire to consume those armies. Or no, wait, like the Israelites bible story that the enemies started fighting each other. Unfortunately, we did not seem to get any grand performance that day and not the day after. Our superhero did not show up.
Everyone says your judgment on the wicked is soon yet it is way over 60 years in Nigeria and that grand judgment is yet to befall on these wicked people.
On the night of 20/10/2020 while on my bed my mind was filled with the different sight of the gory incident, I could almost swear that the relationship was over. Oh my Gosh, I couldn’t explain how I felt, talking to you wasn’t even possible, even with tuning in with the community of believers to pray. Words failed me, I wasn’t sure if you were listening because ‘if you were’ you’d have sprung into action.
In the same vein, I knew running away from you will only cause more damage to me than I was already. I was broken, friend, I didn’t feel you. I tried praying but I was saying them and not feeling them. My attention was fugitive. My mind is not strong. It is a prey to all sought of intellectual quackery. Yet in praying, it is You who have to pray in us.
I sought for the courage to talk to you and messaged some friends to help me reach you because it seemed like my voice was strange or distant. Thanks to friends as communicating with you was made easier because of them.
I still don’t understand so many things involved in this relationship but what I do know is that doing life alone without you will be very fatal. I just wished I knew more. Knowing you are a purposeful God, sometimes until we die, we don’t get to understand this ‘purpose’.
About hope, I am somewhat at a loss. Beyond the sweet tongues slides about all that I hope for, I want to feel it active now that I am in despair. Please let your light shine in all that is around me so my hope can come alive. Illuminate every darkness so my hope can come alive. There are a lot of questions and I don’t want the answers from a human you made.
Even when the fight seems lost
I’ll praise you
Even when it hurts like hell
I’ll praise you
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder then I’ll sing your praise
Most profound things to note on this #endsars protest
Building a Strong and Positive Body Image
Building a positive self-perception is discovering that healthy appealing bodies come in all shapes and sizes, that doesn’t influence our character attributes. A solid individual acknowledgement on our developments makes understanding the effect of body impact considerably more understanding.
Are you struggling with self-image? There are points I want to share with you which I believe will make you mirror yourself in a better light. All connecting to the Word of God.
READ ALSO OLIVE’S POST: https://medium.com/@oliveatuonwu/i-think-its-safe-to-say-that-on-this-weight-matter-i-ve-actually-heard-it-all-b983e0811076
Points to note:
- Understand that you are God’s image. Cliche but constantly repeat till your mind and body registers it. And as such you look into the mirror to see a reflection of God. This will help you be at peace with yourself.
- Declutter your mind from every negative word that has affected the way you look at yourself. Every morning, look to the mirror and speak graceful words to yourself. By so doing, you can filter out the negative ones.
- Then declutter your social. Let the air around you breed positivity. Have a different outlook on the media. Share different opinions and thoughts about understanding what body image and personal appearance are, and how we can look at it through positive aspects.
- Consequently, quit unhealthy comparison. Stop comparing yourself to others. Understand that we are unique, we cant figure out what we want and what our body needs if we are constantly comparing ourselves. Truthfully there would be someone that has what you desire, understand the ability to be comfortable in your own body while admiring another.
- Don’t focus on the numbers on the scales: Learn healthy eating habits and take up healthy enjoyable exercise. Let a healthy lifestyle be your routine so you don’t bounce back after a crazy diet plan.
- Practice self-care that promotes positive self-image. Gyming, yoga, going for a walk, dancing, swimming. Really whatever tickles your fancy as long as it makes you reconnect with your body.
- Have a community. Hang out with positive people: Spend time with influencers that have a healthy relationship with themselves and their appearance.
- Be in control. Don’ allow just anything to control your peace of mind. Clothes should fit you and not the other way round. Clothing should be a medium of expression, creativity and manifestation of personalities. Ensure to filter the information that goes in.
READ ALSO: Practice Mindfulness; Benefits and Tips
We won’t play the victim card all through, knowing that we have at one time or the other insulted our teacher or a member of another squad because of their looks. Usually, this is caused by the low self-esteem we feel within, thereby using others to reflect what we see in ourselves.
“Speak kindly to your body. Also, speak kindly about other people’s body. Other people’s bodies are their business. I don’t dicate how they should mange it.”
In the long run, trying to work on yourself to be better fit is not in itself a bad idea. But understanding the underlying reasons behind it would help you. In that, your confidence and self-esteem are not predicated or predetermined by the size of your belly, breast, ass, penis or what have we.
But the media and society in general, are not all bad. On the other end of self-esteem and the role of the society in building it, there are experts here and there to help you reach your beauty goals. Also, various fitness movement that has inspired many weight management program. With various groups promoting a healthy lifestyle, focusing on self-love, embracing your inner and outer beauty as it is. ‘Celebrating authenticity rather than uniformity.’
One more stop would be an interview with a wellness coach whose story she would share in the next post.
BODY IMAGE AND SELF-PERCEPTION.
Man as social beings.
Society shapes us in a number of ways than we think. We are social beings and as a result, we need each other to survive. Consequently, society has shaped its own beauty preference and carve the standards and expectations for many of us. Odds are that every skincare commercial would make you feel less refined and celebrated Instagram account influencers would make you recoil with want.
With human bodies in front of big brands, there is just so much that our mind has been conditioned to, as it relates to how a body should look like. We are for the most part suggestible enough to shape the view of ourselves generally dependent on the degree to which we exemplify those magnificence standards in our general public celebrates. Our perception of beauty is largely influenced by what we see on the media, cultural perception.
How you perceive yourself and your self-esteem is a reflection of what your society has to say.
What is body image?
Body image is both internal and external. It comprises of how we see our bodies outwardly, how we feel emotionally about our physical appearance. Then how we converse with ourselves as well as other people about our appearance and how others see our appearance.
Almost everyone has at one point or the other had to struggle with their body image. For me, it moved from looking nothing like a girl to having big teeth. To being called Augustina (because of my head)which I enjoyed until I became aware. Then to having full breast and small body which was too much for me. Now I have added some quarantine flesh and it just makes me realise; the chase for perfection is endless. I wonder what shape my pregnant self will give me and i just give up bothering myself with how I look. It is an endless circle, really.
Men and body image
Now, in talking about body image, most occasions it is sidelined to relate more to female than male. However, unexpectedly, men will in general stress over being underweight and want a higher muscular physique. Physical attributes like balding, subsiding hairlines, penis size are the common anxieties, all of which are hereditarily decided. Tragically, men with a full head of hair or enormous or over the normal penis and tall height are more attractive than those without.
Read also: Practice Mindfulness; Benefits and Tips
Family and friends.
More often than not, the way your parents and siblings speaks to you affect your self-perception. Constant criticism makes one focus only on the negative and actively seek them out which becomes a mindset that shapes ourself image.
Then beyond this, we are exposed to a much grander idea of the society, all thanks to the digital world. So beyond family, friends, colleague, there is also the social circle that influences our self-perception and self-image. The social space constantly reinforces our values. As a result, we fail to limit your own expectation and start an unhealthy comparison. The torrent of messages about thinness, eating fewer carbs and beauty tells “ordinary” women their bodies are in constant need of adjustment and that the female body is an item to be perfected.
These negative social impacts push us to a world where we are constantly looking for how to conform to these standards. Thereby driving us to make very rash and unhealthy decisions with our bodies. Such as extreme dieting, exercise compulsion, eating disorders, unnecessary plastic surgery, medications for weight loss or muscle building, etc
Let’s not all play the victim card here, we have at one point or the other trolled our friends, teachers, family based on how they look. It is important how we see ourselves because ultimately it helps us in our interaction with other people.
So what is the way forward? Find out in my next post.